Adam Harasiewicz is a pianist, born on July 1st 1932 in Chodzież. He won the 5th International Chopin Competition and has gone on to be a jury member several times. The artist has lived in Salzburg since the late 1950s.
Pianist, a prize winner and long-time judge of the Chopin Competition
He began his piano lessons under Kazimierz Mirski and Janina Stojałowska in Rzeszów. He studied piano under Zbigniew Drzewiecki at the State High Music School in Kraków, receiving a diploma with honours in 1955.
Awards and piano career
In 1947, he won the first prize of the Young Talents Competition in Rzeszów. In 1955, he won first place at the 5th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. In 1957, he received a Harriet Cohen Foundation medal in London for outstanding achievements on piano. In 1960, he was awarded the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Gold Medal in New York.
After his success at the Chopin Competition, Harasiewicz began an intense career as a virtuoso. He performed a recital at the 1958 Expo in Brussels and in 1960 he inaugurated the Year of Chopin at the UN offices in New York, performing two Chopin concerts with the Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Stanisław Skrowaczewski. He's given concerts in countries across Europe, Asia and the United States alongside the biggest orchestras in the world led by the most famous conductors. In the years 1958-74 he recorded Fryderyk Chopin’s pieces for the record label Philips, producing 14 albums. He recorded Chopin’s Concerto in F-minor (1979) for Polskie Nagrania with the National Philharmonic Orchestra under Kazmierz Korda's baton, and he played Chopin's recital (1993) for the Koch record label. In 2005, an album came out with all of his performances of Chopin’s Mazurkas that he recorded for the Polish Radio. During one of the last editions of the Chopin Competition Harasiewicz explained:
Piano Concertos - Fryderyk Chopin
international fryderyk chopin piano competition
You must play Chopin in such a way to make the sound soft and delicate, gentle even in fortissimo dynamic. The sound should be natural – that is what distinguishes the real Chopin. The audience should be under the impression that the pianist is creating the played music. Of course, everything should be very well-thought-out and planned, yet the pianist must play from the heart. You also ought to sing on the piano. That is not enough – you have to play with the a suitable rubato, imagination. It is very important to vary the intensity of sound – much like a painter’s choice of a shade of colour.
Adam Harasiewicz leads master classes on the interpretation of Chopin’s compositions in Austria, Germany, Italy, France and Japan. He has been a member of the jury at many international piano competitions, mainly the Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano (1984), Pilar Bayon Piano Competition in Saragossa (1987), International F. Chopin Piano Competition (1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015) and the Arthur Rubinstein In Memoriam International Competition for Young Pianists (2014) as head of the jury.
Originally written in Polish by Małgorzata Kosińska, Polish Music Information Center, Polish Composers' Union, March 2006. Translated by: Zuzanna Wiśniewska, September 2015; updated by MG, June 2019.
Record-Breaking Interest in the Chopin Competition